Tuesday, March 8, 2022

The Webbed Foalmouse

Last Friday on my Twitch Stream, we did the fifteenth community draw-along event #DrawTheExtinct where I posted an image from an old block print I made with a few animal photo inspiration prompts and the idea to create an imaginary extinct animal. I worked on my piece live on my Twitch stream while viewers worked at home and then on Monday we shared our finished pieces. 

Here is my finished Webbed Foalmouse. And below are my steps to create it as well as the community submissions.

We started with the prompt of my original 2000's era linocut print titled 'Extinct' as well as a Horse, a Mouse, and a Goose (I referenced the feet).

I told the viewers that they could use any combination of the inspiration prompts––they could make their version as cute and cuddly as a pocket pet stray kitten, as monstrous and deadly as a giant kaiju destroying cities, or anything in between. I also wanted this to be an excuse to get their pencils moving. I invited all skill levels, because I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't have to be good at something or pursuing mastery of it to just simply enjoy the act of it...and art is no exception.

On the Friday stream I started drawing with mechanical pencil on a sheet of copy paper to try and reimagine the beast. My plan was to use the mouse's body & arms, the goose's feet, and the horse's head & mane. The drawing on the left is my 2nd attempt only because I wanted to change the posture to be less upright and more like a T-Rex. Scanned into Photoshop, I could mirror it and see that I had to move closer eye a bit more towards the bridge of the nose––but otherwise it was ready to ink.

After I was happy with my above design, I printed that piece out on copy paper and taped it to the back of a sheet of Strathmore 300 series bristol. Using a lightpad, I was able to see through the surface of the bristol as I inked the Banded Haremole. I used a Copic Multiliner 0.7 SP pen to ink the art. This piece inked fast for me. I had a family gathering to go to and I was going to cut the stream short, perhaps that's why I got done so quickly––but it also may be that there wasn't anything overly detailed or tricky in the linework or textures.

I finished the inks on-stream and was able to scan and finish the color flats while still broadcasting. For these Draw The Extinct pieces I have a  template with background and border already established, so it makes some of this color prep work all the easier. 

I decided the Webbed Foalmouse's colors should be the brown of a horse or mouse, a blonde mane (like one of the reference photos of a horse I used) and the dark grey webbed feet of the goose.

I just started playing with some rendering on the piece when it was time for me to say goodbye to the viewers and shut down the stream & drive over to my sister's for her birthday dinner.

Once Julia and I got home from a nice evening with both of my sisters, I went back at the renderingTo get all the highlights, shading, and texture I used the dodge and burn tools with a stock photoshop texture brush. I also selected areas and used the color balance tool to tint them warmer or cooler. Below you can again see the final rendered colors with a border and type applied in this final version. 

But, as this is a community event, I wanted to share all the other entries posted in the Discord. I awarded a prize and we voted together on a few more (prize winners marked with *) on Monday's Twitch stream and we all enjoyed seeing what each other had done. I hope we get even more participants next month (First Friday!)


Amy LeBaron




Nate Pride*


Shake Zula



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